I flinch as I hear her bedroom door slam and sigh as I hear her little feet run across the lounge room floor above me.
I can’t help but smile as I walk to the bottom of the stairs and see Curly-locks, my three-year-old, standing at the top looking down at me. Her hair a tangled mass of curls, her big brown eyes giving me the ‘We cool, Mummy?’ look, her cheeky grin making me laugh as I shake my head in surrender.
This is becoming quite the regular occurrence the battle of the day time nap.
A few months ago, still so exhausted with baby Smiley, this battle was at its peak.
I’d march her back to her room telling her she was having a sleep and that was it.
This could go a number of ways:
- She would scream and cry, wake up her baby sister, and then all three of us would be crying.
- She would trash her room in protest.
- She would go to sleep.
I have been in deep denial that she no longer needs her daytime nap. Many of her friends gave up their naps long ago and I knew this day would be coming soon enough. I am fully aware that it is perfectly normal for a three-year-old to no longer need a glorious two hour sleep during the day, but that doesn’t stop me from digging my heels in.
My days can average 13 – 14 hours alone with the kids and I crave a break during the day. Just as much as they do, I need a time out. A chance to recharge, recoup, to take a few deep breaths and just sit.
The problem is that Miss Curly-locks is digging her heels in too.
I’ve come to realise that I can’t force her to have this nap. It’s stressing her out and it’s stressing me out. It’s not doing anyone any good.
I don’t know whether or not it’s me surrendering, or that I’ve learned to accept it.
My little girl is growing up and with that comes change. I need to be flexible. I need to be aware of her needs as well as mine. This is just another milestone she’s reached and as with the others I need to be happy with and proud of her progress.
On the whole, Curly-locks can handle not having a sleep. It is pretty rare these days that we have a meltdown due to lack of sleep.
Every afternoon, I still take her to her room, read her a couple of stories, tuck her in and cross my fingers. If she sleeps great, if she doesn’t that’s okay too.
I suppose you could say we’ve come to a truce. She can watch a DVD while lying on the couch, read a book, or colour while mummy has her time out. I consider myself incredibly lucky that she understands that I need this mummy time and that a little time apart during the day does us both the world of good.
At what age did your kids give up their day time nap?